Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Drugstore Dupe:
MAC Penultimate Brow Marker Vs.
NYX Eyebrow Marker

Little known fact about my brows: due to a naturally occurring bald spot just after my arch, I have the fortunate ability to brush the inner half of my brows up and look like a Vulcan. True, but don't be jealous. As beneficial as this may seem, I don't always (or really, ever) want to look like a Vulcan. As such, I'm always on the look out for natural looking brow grooming solutions.

When MAC released their Penultimate Brow Marker ($16.50), I snatched it up right away and it's been a daily-use product for me ever since. I even ranked it among my 2010 Best of Beauty for it's ability to create a clean, precise line without looking harsh or overly drawn-on. It applies easier and stays on better than any pencil, powder or gel I've ever tried and I've never had it smudge or smear. Love.

So, of course, when I saw that bargain powerhouse NYX had their own version of my beloved brow mainstay, I had to try it. At $9.75, the NYX Eyebrow Marker rings in at a nice discount over the MAC version. I actually picked mine up for a minuscule $4.87 during a Cherry Culture sale; Ulta often has discounts that can be used on NYX as well, so it's worth it to keep an eye out.

One difference that's hard not to notice is that the NYX version comes in two shades, Medium and Deep, versus MAC's one "Universal" shade. I chose the NYX Marker in Medium, which turned out to be a pretty decent match. When swatching, I feel like the NYX version (bottom) is more neutral in tone and maybe a hair lighter compared to MAC's marker (top) which leans a little bit to the red-brown side. Honestly, if I were going to label one of these "Universal" it would be the NYX version. I will say that these difference were slight on my hand and unnoticeable on my brows. Also, the feathering you can see in this swatch never occurred on my brows, with either product.

Upon looking at the felt-like applicator tips on the markers, again, we're talking almost identical. The MAC version (right) appears tad bit longer than than the NYX (left) but this could be due to the slight fraying on the tip. Otherwise, the broadness of the marker and the fineness of the tip are carbon copies, and apply as such.

Aside from a slight color difference on my hand, and of course, the color of the packaging and the slight difference in size (MAC's marker is 1 gram, NYX's is 1.04 g) these two products are more alike than they are different. Even the plastic tube is startlingly similar; in fact, I noticed that both the MAC and NYX version have similar, 3-digit embossed factory codes on the end of the marker. According to the packaging, both items were manufactured in Germany. Interesting. A quick peek at the ingredients proves that these two formulas are identical, with the possible exception of colorants. I say possible exception because whereas NYX lists the colorants on their list without qualifiers, MAC's packaging lists colorants as "+/-" (in other words, "may contain any or none of these, we're not telling cause it's a secret").

While I'm not saying the MAC and NYX are the same exact product, for all intents and purposes, they perform identically. Given the similarities in packaging, manufacturing and ingredients, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were discovered that these originated from the same vendor. So, which would I buy again? You'd better believe it's gonna be the NYX version!

Monday, December 27, 2010

This Week's Sales: Crown Brush, Laura Mercier, Oliver Ifergan...and more!

Well, that's over for another year! Hopefully every one had a wonderful holiday, whether in the religious sense or not. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it was merry and bright. If you don't, I hope you had an extra relaxing paid-day off! So, now that everyone is back in shopping for themselves mode...

Over at HauteLook, R Session, M Spa Beverly Hills, Silk'n SensEpil, all kick start the week on Monday, along with a Whitening Lightning Deal of the Day. Pop Hair crops up on Tuesday, with Crown Brush on Wednesday.

Gilt Groupe has Laura Mercier on Wednesday, December 29th.

Privatistas has Oliver Ifergan Atelier haircare 50% off, click here for an invite!

Beauty Story has a beauty blowout this week, beginning Tuesday December 28th.

Brand Alley has a Fragrance Frenzy going on through Monday, January 3rd, along with Saito Spa, Beauty Boutique, until this Tuesday. On Monday, Rio Salon Solutions begins with Christy Candles and toiletries starting on Tuesday, December 28th. If you're not a member yet, we can both earn a £10 voucher when you join- click here for a personal invite from me!

Swirl still has tons of super cute stuff in their Holiday Shop. Click the "Beauty" tab to check out pretty felted soaps, Tokyo Milk bubble bath, fragrances from Honoré des Prés and more.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Am I the Only Person Who Doesn't Like:
Urban Decay?

I hate to rant about a brand. It's not like they did anything to my Grandma, or kicked my kid or something. Despite what my friends and family say, I'm generally a nice person. However. Occasionally in my line of obsession, I come across a product that I just. Don't. Get.

I'm talking about products that I hear nothing but good things about, products that win all of the "best of" awards, things everyone seems to love- but when I try them, they leave me wondering. I figure, I can't be the only one, right? So kindness be damned, I'm gonna start speaking out. It may not happen often, and I'm well aware that when it does, I'm opening myself up to a barrage of "OMG, you're crazy, that stuff is my HG, I love it, I could bathe in it!!!" All I can say is, if that's you, you'll be able to easily note the topic by the title of the post, and are welcome to comment and tell us how much you disagree with me, and of course, you're well within your rights to just skip the post altogether. But just in case there's anyone else out there wondering why their dud is everyone else's super-seeker, this is for you, so that you can know you're not alone.


Today I'm gonna complain a little about Urban Decay. As stated above, I just don't get it. Granted, their Primer Potion revolutionized eye shadow application, but for me, that's where my brand appreciation ends. Urban Decay shadows, and in particular their Limited Edition "Books of Shadows" are among the most anticipated releases in the makeup world. Their 24/7 Eye Pencils have achieved cult-status; perched at the top of everyone's "Best in Show" lists. So why am I so meh (to downright angry) at them, and can I really be the only one?

Recently, I finally got around to peeking at the newest installment of the Urban Decay library: version 3 of the Book of Shadows. It's the one with the really cute (but totally useless and wasteful) lighted, pop-up scene of New York City. Now, BOS III came out in August, so based on the fact that it took 4 months for me to hunt it down you may surmise that I didn't have that strong of an urge to get the newest book. I have the first edition of the Book of Shadows and have used it all of 5 times. Oddly, when I finally saw the new Book, I suddenly found myself wanting to buy it. I'd like to say it was the pretty colors- there are a few that look stunning. I have to admit though, it's highly likely that I was suffering from "everyone else wants it so I must too" syndrome. Whatever the case, I bought it.

I was aware when I bought it that I have a major issue with many Urban Decay shadows. Say it with me: Big. Damn. Glitter. Looking at the set, I could see that there were more than a few (7 out of 16, to be exact) with UD's signature "I love to make your face look like a disco ball" finish. I even discussed it with the sales woman, who was helpful enough to suggest a few possible remedies. Yes, I know I can put my foundation on after. Sure, I could use powder to prohibit fallout from sticking so well, or tape to remove some of the sparkle. I could foil the shadows to make the glitter stick better. All of those things are viable solutions. Except...Urban Decay glitter is a hornet, not a bee- it doesn't just sting once. That glitter just keeps coming back to taunt me, falling out all over my face, all day long. Grrr.

Again I say: I knew this, and bought the palette anyway- the other colors (especially Loaded and Psychedelic Sister- words can not express!) were just too tempting. Like any good makeup junkie, I busted the palette out as soon as humanly possible. The second I touched the brush to my lid I remembered why I passed on the previous two volumes of the Books. Um...I don't like Urban Decay shadows.

I know. Maybe I'm the only one, but even with their miracle Primer Potion, UD shadows go on wimpier than they should, blend murkily and fade more than just about any other brand at that price point that I can think of. Take Loaded: a gorgeous green that I mentioned earlier. In the pan, it's a super-deep, just shy of blackened, jewel tone green. It even swatches nicely, but introduce a brush, and all of a sudden, it's just black. Which I suppose isn't all bad, since the matte black (Perversion) in the set isn't even on par with my cheapies from NYX and Sleek. Sad.

Which brings me to my next rant, a product that I think I may truly be alone in my disdain of. UD's 24/7 Eye Pencils. "They're so pigmented, they wear forever!" Yeah, um, not so much. In side-by-side comparisons, I got longer wear and less smudging out of a $5 Revlon pencil. As far as the pigmentation goes, I know that's not just me: I've used these on more than one client and can say with confidence that, while the Urban Decay pencils do go on evenly, the gel-like formula just doesn't offer the rich, bold color of a traditional liner. Granted, they come in an amazing variety of shades, but I feel like they should be better considering how much adoration they garner. And then there's that damn glitter again! Someone please tell me how I applied brown liner to my top lid only, and 2 hours later there's gold glitter under my eyes! Anyone?!?

My other gripe about the pencils is, admittedly, a personal preference. I'm a smudger. I guess you could say it's part of my style. I haven't applied pencil liner to anyone in years without using a small smudger brush (Lancome #10) to soften the line and blend it into the lash; un-smudged liner just looks raw and unfinished to me. Unfortunately, Urban Decay 24/7 pencils don't like to smudge. Try to smudge too soon and you just wipe it all away. Too late and it's set. Oh well.

Like I said, I'm sure most of you are thinking I'm crazy right about now. Maybe I am, but I seriously doubt my issues with Urban Decay are manifestations of any abnormal condition in my mind. Thing is, I've been in this business a long time, and I've used a lot of products- I feel like my experience is VERY well rounded. Something tells me that if I have this gripe, other people do too. So, I'm coming out. How about you guys? What's your "big whoop" product? Share. My hope is that you'll think of this site as a place of openness and understanding. Then, together we can all begin to heal.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sugarpill's 7 Newest Chromalusts
Now Death & Sin Free!

Is it rude to say "If you're not on the Sugarpill bandwagon yet, you may want to seek professional help"? If you're willing to conceed that it is not, in fact, rude and that I am, in fact, a professional, then consider me that help!

If you're completely unfamiliar with Amy (aka Shrinkle) and her fledgling Sugarpill empire, make sure you check out my review on her loose Chromalust pigments and her Addicted to Pretty pressed eye shadows. The Reader's Digest version is that they're smooth-blending, ultra-pigmented, and pretty much the best value for your money out there. They've become a staple in my kit, I use them everywhere I can; eyes, cheeks, lips, even on the body.

Today, I want to introduce you to the newest additions to the Sugarpill family- seven NEW(ish) Chromalust shades that will have you drooling. The formula on these is as to be expected; in some cases, it almost seems like they adhere better than the originals, though I've not heard anything about the formula being changed. The new additions also add a bit of diversity to the Chromalust portfolio, with different textures and finishes than the originals.

I'd like to note, the following photos and product descriptions are my own, not those from the official site, and in my opinion, some of them vary significantly from the Sugarpill sanctioned description. Consider it a second opinion! All shades swatched dry on top of Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
Birthday Girl
This shade had the biggest variance to me in what I saw versus what the site describes it as. Sugarpill calls this a princess pink with fuchsia sparkles. What princess pink means to me is a deeper-than-bubblegum almost rose-pink. It's a matte base, and the sparks seem more pink and gold to me. A super-pretty shade, but darker and less silvery than the online swatch looks on my monitor.

Teal green-blue goodness! Darling is slightly metallic with a satiny base and superfine matching sparks. I'd classify this as a little more than shimmer, but less than sparkly. Sharkely?

I can only assume the great minds at Sugarpill meant this name to convey the shade as an electric magenta, and indeed it is. Not as bright as a fuchsia or as deep as a burgundy, this satiny metallic pigment is a great mid-tone magenta, enhanced with a healthy dose of fine blue sparks.

Possibly my favorite shade of this launch, Paperdoll is a creamy matte lilac base w/lavender shimmer. It's so yummy I want to lick it.

Matte black base with tons of rainbow micro-glitter. The website refers to this black as "the blackest of jet blacks". Though I'd call it more of a deep charcoal-black, I can say that it's far-and-away the most pigmented loose black shadow I own- compared to shades from Archetype, Aromaleigh, and Illamasqua this is undoubtedly the winner!

I wonder if Sugarpill called this one Tipsy in honor of the common way Americans celebrate St Patrick's Day, cause this one says "Luck o' the Irish" all over it to me! A brilliant, shimmery grass green. Not lime green, not sage green, but a true, balanced mid-tone green.

A beast of a shade to photograph and describe, Weekender is a metallic deep blue-violet that almost seems to shift depending on the light. In direct sunlight (or under my daylight bulb) it reads as a grape purple, but pulled away from the light the metallic sheen takes over and adds tinge of a pewtery-silver cast, skewing the shade closer to indigo.

So there you have it- great new shades filling out the Sugarpill portfolio. As expected from the brand, they apply, blend and wear amazingly. I will say that it's easy to blend away the glitter on matte shades (Birthday Girl, Paperdoll and Stella) but I haven't experienced throughout the day glitter fall-out like I do with some *other* brands (::coughUrbanDecaycough::). Stay tuned to OutInAPout for more looks featuring Sugarpill this month!

The products featured in this post were submitted for review consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for them. My commitment is to you, my readers, and myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). I can assure you that the opinions expressed in my product reviews are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the review influenced by the featured company.

This Week's Sales:
Vincent Longo, Talika, Dianne Brill
...and more!

As previously noted, HauteLook started off the week with a bang by hosting an "everything is $2.00" Urban Decay sale. The site is also hosting Skinhealth Centers and Trilogy Spa beginning Monday, so if you're near one, check those out! On Tuesday, peruse a selection from Vincent Longo along with the Lash in a Flash Deal of the Day. Senna Cosmetics pops up on Wednesday, December 22nd, and Alison Raffaele and the Cosmetique Deal of the Day share Thursday.

Rue La La has a "Last-Minute Luxuries" boutique opening this Tuesday the 21st, featuring salons and spas in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania. If you're there or planning to go, lucky you!

Gilt Groupe has Talika beginning Monday, the rest of the week is TBA.

Beyond the Rack starts their Women's Fragrances boutique on Tuesday, December 21st.

Beauty Story starts on Monday with Pure Inventions Liquid Nutrients, then Tuesday it's Dianne Brill Cosmetics and Wednesday brings Talika (so if you missed out on Gilt Groupe, get it here!)

Urban Decay $2.00 Sale!!!

Consider this my teaser to this week's sales. Though I'm unable to get the entire sale list up tonight, I couldn't live with myself if I was somehow to blame for someone missing out on HauteLook's Urban Decay sale. $2.00. Everything. Seriously. Get there quick, cause I'm sure its gonna sell through fast (and boy will I be ticked if there are only 4 things included in the sale!)

When you're done, check back here for the rest of this week's sales! Also coming up this week, I'll finally have swatches & my thoughts on all 7 of Sugarpill's newest Chromalusts, and ironically (you'll see why!) I'll debut a new feature I'm calling "Am I the only one who hates..." where you can tune in to hear me rant about a brand everyone loves (ppssst: it's not Sugarpill, sillies! I <3 Sugarpill, you know that!) Hey, you never know, maybe it's the same one that leaves you wondering "Am I the only one?"

Friday, December 17, 2010

30% Off The Youth As We Know It

Today only, get 30% off Bliss The Youth As We Know It products at (enter code YOUTH30 in shopping bag) or mention this offer at participating Bliss Spa locations. Offer is not valid at Bliss Atlanta-Downtown, Bliss Fort Lauderdale, Bliss Washington D.C. or Bliss Boston. Limited to one offer per person/order. This deal can not be combined with any other offer, and is not valid on gift sets (though the site already has sets marked down!) Offer expires tonight, December 19, 2010 at midnight (EST).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway WINNER!!!

Let's just get to it, 'cause I know you're all just gonna skim this page until you see it anyway! Aaaaannnnnddddd.....the winner is......Entry 226:

Dyna! According to Dyna's Blogger profile, she hails from Malta. So...I'm off to Google that and find out where it is! Congrats to Dyna, and again, I can't thank you all enough for blogging, tweeting, facebooking and generally just spreading the word about the contest.

For those of you still reading, I just want to tell you I've had such a great time reading through the comments! It's really nice to know that what I'm writing is touching base with my readers. To see Whitney, a pediatrician, comment that she liked my CeraVe post because, as a doctor she recommends it all the time- well, what better validation could I ask for? I was also touched by comments like the one from Kat where she talked about bringing my Eyebrow 101 diagram to the salon with her (I bet the Esthetician loved that!) or LacquerSmack's comment of same brow post: "It saved me. I kid you not." Wow. Anytime!

And while I'm thinking about it- damn you guys and gals are creative with your handles! LacquerSmack? You've got to be kidding me- how fricking adorable! I also got a particular kick out of "The Glitzkrieg" and "aPanda" (it's the icon on her blog that does it for me!)

I would love to reply to each and every single one of you, but I imagine y'all would rather me spend the next few days on actual content (like the look at Sugarpill's 7 new Chromalust shades that's coming up this week!) Just know that I'm honored to be a part of your lives. That you all enjoy my looks and opinions, trust my advice and reviews means so much, especially because I know how many people there are out there doing what I do (well, maybe not exactly what I do!)

I love writing OutInAPout, and luckily, beauty never stops evolving, so I don't have to either! To all of you, from those that have been with me since December 2008 to those that just found out about me today, thanks for reading, and don't be a stranger. Comments, questions, requests and even just general greetings are always welcome! Hit me up on Twitter or Formspring, or Email me know where to find me!

So pull on your hair
Pull on your pout
Cut the conversation
Just open your mouth
Pull on your face
Pull on your feet
And let's hit opening time
Down on fascination street
-Robert Smith

Monday, December 13, 2010

This Week's Sales: Lorac,, NYX
...and more!

Before we get started, here's my nag list. Just remember, I nag because I love!

#1) Have you entered my Blogiversary Giveaway yet? Someone's getting a pretty sweet gift this winter-time holiday season (if I do say so myself!) Over $130 worth of my favorites from this year: MAC, Sugarpill, Sleek MakeUP, Orly and more...don't miss out!

#2) Have you checked out the yet? Hard to find limited editions and high-end brands at half price- plus, all proceeds go to charity? Why wouldn't you??? I have a $76 Flirt! mega-set on the block for the low, low price of $31- not to mention the $80 body firming gel going for 90% off it's retail price! There's tons more from me & over 40 other bloggers, so make sure you check it out- auction ends Monday, December 20th at 5 pm CST.

#3) The sales...

HauteLook LORAC and Tribeca Beauty Spa start on Monday, December 13th. On Tuesday the site features Alterna with Pixi & Pop Beauty on Wednesday. Kevyn Aucoin, Orange Berlin and Bay Area Medical Spa all start on Thursday and Friday brings Color Discovery Day and
Balanced Health. Not sure what those two really mean, but they sound fun (OK, maybe not so much the Balanced Health, but Color Discovery? Yay!)

Rue La La has an exclusive even this Monday.

Ideeli showcases R Sessions hair tools beginning Monday, and Peter Lamas haircare and Amika tools on Wednesday, December 15th- did I mention Wednesday is the last day to enter my giveaway ;)

Gilt Groupe skips Monday but sets up camp on Tuesday with Freeze 24-7 skincare and TRIA Beauty on Thursday.

Swirl has Compagnie de Provence going on now- sale ends Wednesday, December 15th.

Also going on now, Beyond the Rack has Lola Cosmetics, which ends Thursday.

Beauty Story starts the week on Tuesday with Heys. Peacekeeper Cosmetics and Decléor pop up on Wednesday, with Lia Schorr and NYX on Thursday and Stream Cosmetics on Friday.

Brand Alley (UK only) has Clinique and OPI starting Monday, as well as a multi-brand Pamper Parlour that will run until Monday, December 20th. We can both earn a £10 voucher if you join now; click here for an invite!

Have fun shopping, stay warm & safe, and stay tuned later this week for a peek at Sugarpill Cosmetics hot new Chromalust shades- I'll have close ups, swatches & maybe even a tutorial or two that you can rock at your company "holiday" party! See you soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Blogiversary to Meeeee.....CONTEST IS OVER
Thanks for Entering!

Well, it's here folks. Today turns two years old! Without being too gushy, I just want to say I've enjoyed every minute of it. Immersing myself in the beauty blogger culture has educated me in ways I never thought possible. It's reignited a passion for writing I'd almost let go to ash. Above all, it's connected me to hundreds of people, many of which I now call friends. To each and every one of you, from those who have been with me since day one to youse newbies who are still trying to figure me out, THANK YOU!!!

To show my love, thanks, and gratitude I'm hosting a month long Blogiversary Giveaway!!! Throughout the past year, I've collected goodies worth OVER $130 for just such an occasion. These are the products we lusted over, the new lines that rocked our world, the shades everyone had to have, and a few favorites thrown in for good measure.

So, what are you looking at? One lucky follower will win everything pictured above!

Orly Cosmic FX polishes in Galaxy Girl and Space Cadet: The buzz of the fall polish season, these shimmery, duo-chrome lacquers were almost impossible to find. They also happen to be dead-on dupes for MAC's super popular Venomous Villains shades Formidable! and Mean & Green.

Barry M Nail Paint in Dusky Mauve: This Brit drug-store brand isn't available in US stores, but that's not gonna stop you from rocking a fist full of iridescent grey-purple (grurple?) awesomeness. Oh, and if you loved Chanel's Paradoxal but couldn't get your mitts on it (or just think spending $23 on one nail polish is a little silly) you're in luck: total dupeosity. Don't believe me? Check out Charlotte's comparison on Lipglossiping. While you're there, thank her for this prize- I actually won it in her contest about a week after I had a friend send me one from the UK! So, good for me, good for you!

Sleek MakeUP iDivine Palette in Bad Girl: If you follow me or a myriad of other beauty enthusiasts, you may have wondered what all of the Sleek hubbub has been about for the past few weeks. The beauty SNAFU of the season, this hot high-street brand offered a 12-hour 50% off sale, which got all kinds of wonky. Without reiterating the whole story, I'll just tell you that I had my friend Ana (yes, that Ana. As in Anastasia, from Lipsticks & Lightsabers. Yeah, we're friends. Jealous?) call me from the UK at 6:50 AM to make sure I was up and online when the sale started. I don't get up that early. Ever. But I did, to get this palette, for this giveaway. Which I actually didn't (yet...long story). I did, however, have one of my own that I hadn't yet touched. I love y'all so much, so here it is.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose: if you don't know about this, I'm not sure why you're reading a beauty blog (of course, I'm glad you are!) but for your education, just do a quick search on eBay.

e.l.f Studio Powder Brush: This is easily my bestest cheapest buy this year- I use this brush to apply my foundation daily. It applies, blends,'s not the most luxe feeling or fanciest looking brush I own, but it does the job better than any other.

e.l.f Studio Lip Lock Pencil: Another great bargain find. This colorless "unliner" goes around the outside of the lip line and, as the name implies, locks in color to prevent bleeding. I like it a lot. Check out my review if you wanna see why!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance: Ever see the acronym TFSI and wondered what the heck it was? Despite what Google may tell you, it doesn't stand for "Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection". It's this, and your favorite eyeshadow is 100 times more awesome with it underneath.

Sleek MakeUP Pout Polish: It's a gloss, a balm, a sunscreen and even kind of a stain. It's my go-to lip product. I own every color. You should too, and I'm gonna start you off with my first shade (Perfect Plum) and the newest one (Powder Pink).

Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow: The launch the world awaited! When Sugarpill launched in February, I was lucky enough to be sent an incredible press kit from founder Amy (aka Shrinkle). These are quite possibly the best shadows in my arsenal, and when Sugarpill had a sale on some scratch-and-dent "monster palettes" I took the opportunity to fill out my collection. This meant I ended up with some duplicates, so I pulled them out of their original homes and made a Franken-palette just for you guys! Not available ANYWHERE else, this palette includes 4 full-size, super pigmented shades: Buttercupcake, Poison Plum, Midori and Afterparty. Since they're from the monster sale palettes, a couple have some minor dings, but I promise, you won't care!

Seche Vite: I'm not really sure what took me so long to try this, but I'm oh so glad I did- it really is the best! Dries fast and rock hard in minutes- I can (and do) go to bed 10 minutes after a polish change with this stuff.

So now that you know what it is, I bet you want to know how you can win it. I'm gonna make it pretty easy on you. Here are my rules:
  • You must be a follower of this blog. Sorry if that seems unfair, but this giveaway is specifically to thank those that have supported me these last few years. Besides, it's super easy to follow- just click the button. I promise I won't call you or show up at your house or anything.
  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite OutInAPout post has been. Comments MUST include an email address that I can contact you at if you're chosen as winner. This earns you one entry.
  • Earn an additional ONE entry by tweeting about this contest. You can use your own words, but please include a link to this post and @outinapout in your tweet, so I know you tweeted.
  • Earn an additional 2 entries for blogging or posting about this on Facebook. Again, say what ever you want, just make sure you include a link to this post! Of course, I'll have to know what you did, so make sure you leave an additional comment on this post with a link to your blog post or Facebook update.
  • Contest is open internationally, as long as it's legal for you to enter (your local rules & restrictions apply, yada, yada, yada.)
  • Contest ends December 15, 2010 at Midnight EST.
Good Luck, and again, thanks!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Beauty for Charity:

As anyone who's ever searched eBay for the latest out-of-stock Chanel polish or Limited Edition MAC shadow can attest, women will gladly pony up big bucks for their most desired beauty products. I've seen beauty products quadruple their retail price, all in the name of "gotta have it" and said, more than once, that any woman that is willing to pay over $100 for a nail polish needs to find a charity.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought so, because a few weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely Karla of Karla Sugar (when I need swatches, this is my first stop!) about an incredible opportunity to participate in a charity organization she was spearheading. is a collaboration of almost 50 different beauty bloggers and brands who, in the spirit of the holidays, want to make a meaningful contribution to charity. So we’re putting our makeup on the auction block. Winning bids will be donated directly to Doctors Without Borders.

It's a fact that women are always disproportionately affected in any disaster. Doctors Without Borders is committed to bringing quality medical care to people in crisis, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. They treat rape victims in Papua New Guinea; they make sure women don’t die in childbirth in Pakistan; they helped flood victims in Mexico and earthquake victims in Haiti. They work in 65 countries around the world, and your donation will make an immediate impact.

The cool thing is, that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of your tum-tum isn't the only perk you get out of donating at there are some great (and almost impossible to find) things up for bid (remember that hard-to-find-this-season's-hottest nail polish I mentioned in the beginning...?)

So what are you waiting for? Bidding began today, and will end Monday, December 20th at 5 pm CST. International bidders are welcome, so please spread the word!

Oh, and in case you're interested, here's a list of the 2010 sponsors:

This Week's Sales: NYX, Dr. Hauschka, TIGI
...and more!

Was Thanksgiving this week? In all of the hubbub about Black Friday, my memories of the actual holiday, I admit, are a bit fuzzy. I'm pretty sure it involved poultry of some sort. Hopefully, those that celebrated followed their recollections of gratefulness with some good deals, but in case you didn't do enough damage this past weekend, here are a few more sales for your consideration.

HauteLook has NYX on Monday, November 29th, followed by Pur Minerals on Wednesday and Michael Todd Cosmetics on Thursday, December 2nd.

Gilt Groupe On Monday check out Dr. Hauschka, on Tuesday catch Molton Brown and on Thursday, peruse selections from Comptoir Sud Pacifique.

Beyond the Rack has a Cyber Monday Madness sale going on today- starting at 5am, 5 new events will launch every 5 hours, with $5 shipping all day. There's also still time to get in on Joey New York, and Fusion Beauty begins on Tuesday.

Beauty Story has Rock & Republic Beauty on Monday, DermaNew on Tuesday, Vapour Organic Beauty on Wednesday, Philip B. on Thursday and Fenix on Friday.

Brand Alley has BellaPierre Cosmetics as well as a Bath, Body & Hair Boutique (featuring TIGI, MOP, Anatomicals and more) until Tuesday. They'll also be offering an exclusive 50% off spa package at the Baglioni Hotel Kensington. Gift for someone that has everything? Perhaps just what you need after a looooong day of holiday shopping! If you're not a member yet and you'd like to help us both earn a £10 voucher, click here for a personal invite from yours truly!

Don't forget to check out the list of Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales, there are some new ones today, and a lot of the "Black Friday" sales are still going on, so there's still time to get in on some of the best deals I've seen in a long time! Also, if you're not already a follower here, what are you waiting for? Click that FOLLOW button so you don't miss the BIG news this Thursday!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Latest Update: Monday, 4:13pm EST

For those of you not familiar, Black Friday is the official start of the US Holiday shopping season, so named because it is traditionally the day that retailers go "into the black". In the days of ole, when book keepers wrote out ledgers, deficits were written in red ink. When a business got to the point in the year when they were finally making a profit, the ink was changed to black. In the US, the day after Thanksgiving is generally the biggest shopping day. Thus, Black Friday. Now you know. Cyber Monday is simpler, if you need explanation on that one, you'll have to Google it!

Anyway, I've scoured the interwebs for all of the beauty deals out there I could find. I'll be updating this as I learn of new sales, hopefully I'll have time in between updates to eat and use the potty! If you know of any sales not listed here, feel free to leave them below in the comments so we can all get in on the goods.

*all sales listed below are, to my knowledge, are on-line only.

Armani Beauty: Friends & Family starts Wednesday, November 24. Get 20% off & free shipping with $75 purchase with code: FRIENDS. Offer expires Tuesday, November 30.

For Cyber Monday, spend $125 and receive 20% Off, free Shipping, and a 6 piece gift! Use code: FRIENDS2 at checkout.

Bath and Body Works: 25% all online orders on Monday, November 29th with code CYBER25. is having a Cyber Monday sale! Save 30% on November 29th with the code CYBER30. Starts at 12am.

Bliss Spa: Blue Week sales include 30% off on create-your-own (code GIFT30) and bundled gift sets (code GIFTSET), as well as a 50% off "outlet" featuring products by the brand itself as well as lines like M Lab, Becca and T3. Offers end November 29th.

Butter London: 30% off with code FF2010, expires November 30th.

CherryCulture: Thanksgiving sale starts November 24th. Use code TG20 to get 20% OFF everything in store. Offer ends Sunday, November 28th.

Cinema Secrets: Cyber Monday only, get 50% off any order with the code CYBER50.

Clarisonic: Additional 20% off skin care pairs - Monday, November 29th and Tuesday, November 30th. Fans can get the deal early beginning Friday with the code PAIRS!

Coastal Scents: 33% off from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (sale ends Monday at 12am EST). Free US ground shipping on orders over $50.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare: 25% off all weekend plus a free gift worth $14. Free ground shipping on orders over $100.

E.L.F.: Buy one get the second 50% off on Black Friday only. Use code BOGO50 at checkout. Also, get free shipping on orders over $30. 55% off sitewide on when you spend $25 or more on Cyber Monday only. Use code 55WIDE.

Elizabeth Arden: From Friday, November 26 to Tuesday, November 30th, get 25% off makeup, skincare and fragrance, plus free shipping!

For Cyber Monday only, get a free 31 piece tote bag with any purchase of $65 or more ($300 value) with code CYBER65.

Eve Pearl: The Black Pearl promo is back, giving fans the opportunity to stock up at savings up to 55% off! The event starts Thursday, November 25 at 12:00 AM EST and ends on Monday, November 29th at 11:59 PM EST. The Code is BPCM2010. Free domestic shipping on orders over $100 (international orders over $200 are shipped for free also.)

Geek Chic Cosmetics: Buy 5 get 1 free, plus 15% off the entire order. Also, domestic orders over $30 get free shipping. All international orders over $50 get $5 off.

Haus of Gloi: Handmade soap bars, whipped soaps, body butters and bubbling scrubs for under $5.00, while supplies last!

Hi-Fi Cosmetics: Starting Friday, use code OMGBF40 to get 40% off your entire order (excludes samples and "any 5/10" deals). Discount expires November 29th.

High Voltage Cosmetics: November 24th-27th, take 30% off your entire order. Includes all full sized products and samples. Refunds will be sent through PayPal.

Kate Somerville: 30% off with code KSFF2010, expires 11/30. (And, yes, that code includes everything- including Clarisonic!)

Kiehl's: Friends & Family runs this Friday November 26, through Thursday, December 2nd. Enjoy 20% off all purchases at and in free-standing Kiehls stores. There's no code needed on-line, but if you're shopping in store, you'll need a printed invite: click here and I'll send one out lickety-split! Orders over $30 are shipped for free; just enter code FAMILY10 at checkout.

Illamasqua: Starting on Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 25th) get 25% off you order when you enter the promotional code THANKSGIVING. Offer lasts until Sunday 28th November, Midnight PST.

Lierac Paris: Friends and Family begins on Friday, November 29th. Use code FF2010 and receive 30% off all products. Offer ends Wednesday, December 3rd.

Lime Crime: Black Friday though Cyber Monday, get 40% off with code BLACKFRIDAY40.

Lorac Cosmetics: Limited edition Cyber Monday Collection; 5 full-sized Lorac all-time favorites packed snug inside a sexy black makeup bag. A $100 value for only $25.

Makeup Geek Store: 20% off on Cyber Monday with code MUGCYBER20.

Mario Badescu: Free ground shipping and a free gift with purchases over $50 with code bfriday.

Missha 40% off on all items, no code necessary. Sale starts Thursday, Nov 25 and ends on Sunday, November 28th.

Morgana Cryptoria will be hosting a "super totally awesome Black Friday sale". Details should be available Wednesday night.

NYX Cosmetics: 50% OFF your entire purchase, Friday November 26th.

OCC Cosmetics is giving 20% off of Lip Tars. The sale begins 12AM PST tonight (Sunday) and ends Monday, November 29th at 11:59PM PST. Use the code CYBER 2010 in the special instructions at checkout.

One Hand Washes the Other: 10% off everything in the shop, $5.oo Black Friday gift sets. Also special deals for Cyber Monday in OHWTO's Etsy shop!

Origins: $10 off any order over $25 with code MONDAY on November 29th only (excludes gift sets). Also, free standard shipping on any order from November 25th through November 29th.

Pür Minerals: Friends and Family, now through November 30th. Use code FF10 to save an extra 20% off your order and receive free shipping.

Sally Beauty: 25% off your ENTIRE order with code 555156. Excludes equipment. Offer expires November 29th.

Sephora: Free tote with orders over $25 on Black Friday (while supplies last) with code MYHAUL.

Sigma Makeup: Free international shipping for Black Friday (Nov 26th) with code BF2010.

SkinCareRX: 20% off everything site wide using code BESTSKIN20.

SkinStore: 20% off everything with code CYBER20, with free shipping on orders over $49. Certain items are excluded from offers. Sale ends Wednesday, December 1st.

Stila: 20% off with code STILALOVES through Tuesday, November 30th.

Sugarpill: Pinkweekend is the code for 30% off Friday, November 26th or 20% off Saturday November 27th through Monday, November 29th. As always, US shipping is only $5, with free international shipping on orders over $75.

Tarte Cosmetics: Up to 30% off with code CYBERMON. Orders over $25 get free shipping and a free gift!

Trish McEvoy: Enjoy exclusive gifts, free shipping, and 20% off your total at using coupon code TMHOLIDAY. Offer expires 11:59 est on Monday, November 29th.

Walgreens: Three day Black Friday sale- save $10 off your order of $50 or more with code TENOFF. Sale runs valid Thursday, November 25th through November 27th.

YSL: Free shipping and 20% off all orders over $50 with code FRIENDS, expires November 30th.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Carol's Daughter, Oscar Blandi, Ginger+Liz
...and more!

Well, the week many wait for all year is finally here: Black Friday week. Oh, yeah, Happy Thanksgiving to my continental readers too! I have a feeling many of our favorite sites have special surprises up their sleeves for Black Friday (and of course, Cyber Monday next week). Make sure you're following me on Twitter to get the latest updates on sales, contests, and moderately interesting trivia.

Also, if you're not already following, I'll love you forever if you click that little button over there!

It really means a lot to me (and you are here anyway, right?) Plus, this way you won't miss my big Blogiversary giveaway! To thank my followers for 2 awesome years, I'll be giving away a nice bundle of my favorite things from brands like MAC, Sugarpill, and Barry M. Need I say more? I could ('cause there is more...) but you'll have to wait to find out!

As for the sales- here we go...

HauteLook starts the festivities off right on Monday, November 22nd with Tarte. On Tuesday check out Carol's Daughter followed by Ginger+Liz on Wednesday.

This Monday, Go Smile over at Gilt Groupe (that's not just a cherry suggestion, it's a sale too!) and while you're there, shop with Oscar Blandi & Corioliss Hair Tools as well.

Also on Monday, Beyond the Rack features HauteSkin.

Swirl has their Holiday pop-up shop going hot (or cold?) and heavy. Click "beauty" for deals on upscale beauty goodies from Lipstick Queen, Tokyo Milk, Honoré Des Prés and more!

For my UK readers, there's still time to get in on tons of sales over at Brand Alley! Rio Professional Nails, Designer Fragrance and Haircare boutiques, as well as InstitutKarité Paris are on on the menu this week. If you're not a member yet, click here for an invite and help us both earn a £10 voucher!

Last but not least, hop over to Beauty Story on Monday for ABI Dermaceuticals Skincare. Tuesday's special is Borghese Makeup, Hand Perfection by Ellen Sirot is on Wednesday and the site hosts a blow-out "Black Friday’s Fashion Finale MEGA Sale" on, um, Friday.

In non-members only sales:

E.L.F is having 50% off it's entire Studio line on any purchase over $20 with code HOLSTU. Offer expires 11/24/10.

Smashbox is having it's online friends & family, so you can enjoy 20% off your order using promo code FFSB20. Offer lasts until November 29th.

Kate Somerville is also having friends and family; they're offering 30% off of all internet purchases, now through November 30th. Use code KSFF2010.

Bliss is having their "blue week" which means a new deal every day! Today they announced 30% off any customized gift set purchase (which looks like it's any two or more items bundled together!) Offer is valid at only, use code GIFTS30!

Folks, have a wonderful week, a happy holiday if you're celebrating. Most of all, remember: Black Friday is not for the tired, the weak, or the easily intimidated. It is also not for the "I don't use my rear-view mirror in parking lots" crowd but believe me, some people out there on Friday will not have gotten my memo! For the sake of all that is soft and cuddly in this world, be careful- and lemme know what you find! :)

Drugstore Dupe: Retinol
Over-the-Counter Vs. Prescription

OK, so you caught me: technically, both of the products battling it out in today's Drugstore Dupe are available at the drugstore. In some cases, the "over-the-counter" option comes in the form of pricey, high-end department store formulas. For the purpose of this post, I'm going to be lumping all of the OTC products, from La Prarie to Neutrogena in a comparison against the most popular prescription retinol, tretinoin (sold under brands names like Retin-A, Renova, and Avita).

First of all, why would you even want to use retinol? Well, in short, it's one of the most effective ingredients at clearing up acne, reducing sun spots and is currently the only topical ingredient that's FDA approved to treat lines and wrinkles. If you need to brush up on how exactly retinol does all of this neat stuff, you may want to check this out first.

The important thing to know if you decide you may be interested in a course of treatment that includes retinol: over-the-counter retinol products are not the same as prescriptions like tretinoin.

Over-the-counter products that contain retinol, regardless of whether it’s listed as simply retinol or as retinyl palmitate (aka vitamin A palmitate) are about 20 times less potent than the active chemical in prescription tretinoin: all-trans retinoic acid. That’s because the over-the-counter ingredients, in order to function as the prescription strength does, must first be converted to retinaldehyde, and converted once again to all-trans retinoic acid in order to be effective. Whether or not this conversion will even take place depends on the stability of the product; retinol is light sensitive and breaks down easily if not formulated, packaged and stored appropriately.

This doesn’t mean that some over-the-counter options aren’t viable, it’s just really difficult to know if you’re getting one that is or isn’t. Manufacturers rarely reveal the percentage of retinol in their formulation, but if you can find one that does, keep in mind you'll likely need one with at least .5% or more to equal the level of potency of a .025% prescription cream (the lowest concentration that I'm aware of). Even then, the chemical conversion that needs to take place with over-the-counter options take time to occur in the skin, so it could take twice as long to see results. The good news is that over-the-counter retinol and retinyl palmitate options are sometimes less irritating that prescription strength treatments, though I can tell you as a person who has (according to my dermatologist) "very, very, very, very sensitive skin" (4 very's, I counted!) I have been able to use prescription retinol with fairly minimal irritation- in fact, I've had worse reactions to some alpha-hydroxy acid treatments than I have to my retinol!

Another thing to throw on the scale is price. As I mentioned before, there are over-the-counter retinol treatments available at every price point imaginable. High praise has gone to drugstore treatments by ROC and Neutrogena, both retailing for less than $15 an ounce, while prestige brands like Sisley and Cle de Peau have treatments that literally cost more per ounce than a month's rent! By comparison, my tube of .025% tretinoin cream cost me about $90 at my grocery store pharmacy. I chose the generic version, which my derm assured me was identical to the much more expensive name brand Renova. The tube it came in is 45g, or 1.59 oz. That means by weight, I paid $56.60 an ounce for prescription tretinoin. Doing the math I realized, it’s actually cheaper than many over-the-counter options!

Retinol is a great product, and it can make all the difference to some users. Of course, not everything works for everybody, and it's important to find the right balance of products for your skin type and concerns. The things I discovered in my research made me decide to take the plunge and get a prescription. After years of buying pricey over-the-counter treatments, the piece of mind that I got from knowing that what I was buying was actually going to be as effective as possible made it a simple decision.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bargain Beauty: CeraVe Moisturizers

Today, while posting on one of my favorite website forums (Lipsticks & Lightsabers- thanks to the awesome Anastasia for setting up the forums for us!) I realized that I've totally dropped the ball in telling you about one of my favorite skincare finds, CeraVe Moisturizing Creme. I mentioned it briefly in my 2010 Best of Beauty post. And, OK, once again when I posted about my skincare routine, but I guess I feel like it deserves its own separate post to celebrate it's glory.

I rarely trust my skin to drugstore brands, so when I find something I like it's all the more special. Now, I'll admit, I'm far from the first person to extol the virtues of this cream- I must have read about CeraVe about 100 times in magazines, on "best of" lists, in "dermatologist recommends" columns, etc...before I finally hunted it down.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream comes in a gigantic (for face cream) 16oz jar and runs about $15. It's pretty bare bones- the jar looks generically medicinal, and the cream doesn't feel as luxurious as many upscale creams, but it's my first choice when my skin is angry and won't put up with anything else! The medium-weight cream feels slightly waxy at first, but spreads easily and soaks in within a few minutes without ever feeling greasy on my skin. It's got glycerin to hydrate, hyaluronic acid to attract & hold in moisture (in case you haven't noticed, hyaluronic acid is a favorite ingredient of mine!) and ceramides to help strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier. It's fragrance free, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) and it's actually time-released so it works throughout the day.

For oilier skin, CeraVe does offer a lotion formula. Since my skin is dry to severely dry, I've not used the regular lotion, but I do like the new AM version (around $13.99 for 3oz). Aside from all of the components listed above, it's got SPF 30 and the anti-aging ingredient niacinamide (a friggin' wonder ingredient, it does everything!) I like the SPF lotion, though occasionally it can seem a little light for my skin (but only when I'm super parched). The only other minus to the AM version is it's scent; probably because they don't add fragrance or other ingredients to mask the natural scent, the lotion smells strongly of sunscreen, and that smell lingers a bit when you first apply it. It is, however, a small price to pay, in my opinion, and I'd still give the CeraVe AM lotion a big thumbs up!

So...what's your favorite drug-store steal?

Beauty Buzz Word: Niacinamide

Niacinamide (aka vitamin B3): A new(ish) wonder ingredient in the skin care scene, niacinamide is a multi-threat! There is strong scientific support showing that it increases the skin's elasticity, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, redness, and skin sallowness. It also helps to repair and maintain the skin's natural protective barrier by increasing the ceramide content in the skin. This helps make sensitive skin more tolerant and also helps alleviate some symptoms of rosacea, such as redness and inflammation. On top of all of this, niacinamide has anti-oxidant properties, and is an excellent hydrator that may even help treat acne!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sleek Makeup 50% Off Sale!

For those of you that follow me on Twitter, this probably isn't big news, because I've been talking about it since I first heard it was going to happen a few weeks ago. If you're not familiar, Sleek Makeup is a UK based brand probably best known for their i-Divine Palettes; 12 super pigmented eyeshadow shades for less than the price of one pan of MAC! If you missed it, their Acid iDivine Palette was one of my "Best of Beauty" mentions this year, and I absolutely adore their Pout Polishes (I own them all except the very newest and I promise an in-depth review soonish!)

The big news is that, as a thank you to their fan base, the brand will be hosting a 12 hour long 50% off sale on their website tomorrow, Thursday, November 11th. The sale will begin at 12:00 GMT (which, if my calculations are correct, means I'll be setting my alarm for 7am EST!) For US users, the code USD50SLK must be entered at check out. In the UK, the code is GBP50SLK, and EUR50SLK is the code for all users in the rest of Mainland Europe (those where the € sign is automatically selected as the default on the website).

If you've never tried Sleek, now is the time. Everything I've tried from the brand is well worth the full retail price (and more!) so half off is a deal you definitely shouldn't miss. Oh, and make sure you're following me here for a chance to WIN some awesome Sleek goodies!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Rock & Republic Beauty, Michael Todd Cosmetics, Becca...and more!

This week in sale land...

HauteLook brings back Rock and Republic Beauty this Monday and features Becca on Tuesday, November 9th.

Also on Monday over at Gilt Groupe, check out The Peninsula Spa by ESPA or hop over to Beyond the Rack to peruse their selection from Bread & Butter.

The Beauty Story roster starts with She Essential Beauty Skincare on Monday. AminoGenesis is Tuesday's special. On Wednesday check out Michael Todd Cosmetics, followed on Thursday by Isola Luce & Santuario di Bellezza. The site wraps up the week on Friday with Actifirm Anti-Aging Skincare.

Brand Alley has a Designer Cosmetics boutique going this week featuring, among others: Dior, Lancome, and Stila (shadows for £2.00 anyone?) The site also features Baylis and Harding gifts as well as a Designer Fragrance shop. Click here if you're not a member; I'll send you a personalized invite that'll earn us both a £10 voucher!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Calaveras de Azúcar

For those of you who aren't familiar, Dia de Los Muertos (which translates to day of the dead) is a Mexican holiday to honors, remember and celebrate those who have passed on. The holiday is marked by festive eating and drinking, sometimes on the grave site of the dead, where colorful altars are set up with favorite foods and drinks of the departed loved ones. Among the common decorations are calaveras de azúcar (Sugar Skulls).

In commemoration of the holiday, which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd (to coincide with the Catholic holidays All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day) I thought I'd share with you my Halloween costume from this year: my very own pout painted up like a super sweet sugar skull!

This was my first crack at a calavera de azúcar, but luckily for me, they come as basic or as detailed as you'd like, so I had a wide range to work from. I started out by applying Ben Nye Cream Foundation in P-1 White over my entire face using an ELF studio powder brush. Next, I applied a fine white opalescent glitter all over (I'll be washing that out of my hair until next year!) I used a good craft store glitter; unfortunately, you really can't see it in the picture, but trust me- it's there. This gave a nice effect that was reminiscent of actual sugar, though were I to do this again, I'd spray a sealer over the white cream before applying the glitter. I didn't this time and I found that the cream makeup somewhat coated the glitter and reduced its shimmer.

Next, to make my face appear more skeletal, I used a MAC 109 brush and NYX Black eyeshadow to carve out the hollow under my cheek, angling the line down along my chin and then blending it out toward my neck. An inverted heart painted on with MAC Blackground Paint Pot mimics the nasal cavity of the skull.

For my lips, I chose a red lip liner (Ben Nye in Plum LP-24 which, despite its name, is a cherry red shade) and traced a small, heart shaped lip inside my natural lip line, slightly exaggerating the line up over my Cupid's bow. Once I was happy with the shape, I filled in with MAC Lady Danger lipstick and a tiny bit of OCC Lip Tar in NSFW. For the stitches/skeleton teeth effect, I used Lancome Artliner in Noir.

The first step for my eyes was a good primer- I used Urban Decay Primer Potion this time, but I like Too Faced Shadow Insurance just as well, so if that's what you have, use it! Using my orbital bone as a guide, I then used a synthetic concealer brush to fill in the entire ocular cavity with black. I ended up using the same MAC Blackground Paint Pot that I'd used on my nose, so in the end I may not have needed a primer, but better to be safe than sorry! When I finished filling in my eyes, I topped of the black area with a dusting of Sugarpill Chromalust pigment in Stella (an awesome black base with vibrant rainbow sparkles!)to add a bit of interest.

To do the "petals" around the eyes, first I took a liner and lightly traced the area- the same Ben Nye Plum for the red petals, and Urban Decay Ransom for the purple. I did the smaller, red petals first, basically placing one above and one below my pupil, and then one at the outer corner of my eye. Then I went back with the purple and drew larger petals in the gaps. For the red petals, I used Sugarpill Love+ to fill in, on the purple petals I first filled in with Sugarpill Poison Plum and then made a center highlight and blended out to the edges of the petal with Sugarpill Dollipop.

At this point, I was running out of time and had a very impatient toddler (and perhaps a more impatient toddler's Daddy!) waiting, so I grabbed a bit of Sugarpill Darling Chromalust and mixed in a couple drops of MAC water-based mixing medium to make a paste. Using a fine lining brush (Grumbacher #1 Goldenedge Round from the craft store) I pained a freehand vine on the center of my forehead, as well as spikes coming out from between the petals around my eyes. I also used the same brush to paint a few hash marks around the inside corner of the eye, and after washing it, painted small hearts at the end of the petal spikes using Makeup For Ever Aqua Cream #7 Fuchsia. My final touch was a flower at the center of my head- the orange center is done with Sugarpill Flamepoint (which darkened a bit due to the moisture from the cream makeup) and the yellow petals are OCC Liptar in Traffic with Sugarpill Buttercupcake on top. A spritz of Mehron Barrier Spray kept the entire thing on through the night; this photo was actually taken after trick-or-treating!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and even if you're not Mexican or Catholic (I'm neither myself) use this day to remember with fondness the people in your lives who are no longer with you in body, and take comfort in knowing that as long as you honor them in memory, they'll always live on in spirit.
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